In this exclusive interview with entrepreneur and former investor on Dragons’ Den, Jenny Campbell, discover her proudest achievement and how she supports women in business.
Jenny is a female motivational speaker who uses her platform to engage businesses in important topics like female representation and entrepreneurship. As a former Dragon on BBC’s Dragons’ Den between 2017 and 2019, Jenny’s instinct for opportunity and wealth of business acumen saw her prolific business status expand to also include a revered position in the media. Jenny continues to be one of the biggest names in business.
What are you most proud of in your career?
“I think what I’m most proud of in my career is that if I look back to when I started work in a bank, counting cash and filling cash machines at 16, I could have never foreseen where my career and business life would go!
“I could never have guessed that I would end up buying the business, exiting the business and then becoming a Dragon. I could never have foreseen that.
“So, I think looking back, I’m just proud that I have grasped every opportunity that’s either come my way or I’ve foreseen and gone to grab it.”
You invested in Ed Hollands, who created ‘Driven Media’. What attracts you to an investment?
“So, when I invested in Ed Hollands on Dragon’s Den; Ed has the ‘Driven Media’ business, which is a very simple business concept, all about advertising on the side of lorries. What I saw in Ed when he came through the doors was a very raw young man, but someone with a lot of potential.
“I love investing in young entrepreneurs. I am a big supporter of entrepreneurial hubs and accelerators.
“I have also done a lot of work with the Prince’s Trust, working with more disadvantaged, or less advantaged, young people, helping them to become successful either in long-term employment or as entrepreneurs.
“So, in Ed, I saw that raw entrepreneur that could be helped and shaped with a bit of wisdom and financial support. I was very delighted to work with Ed, and his business has continued to grow since his appearance on Dragons’ Den.”
What needs to be done to get more women in the top positions in business?
“So, I am a director of the Women of the Year Award! I won the Businesswomen of the Year Award in 2014 and then a few years ago, I was asked by the board of WOTY – as we call it, Woman of the Year. I was asked by the board to join them to help them to basically grow the award and the impact it has on women in business and women achievers.
“I came on to the board and almost immediately did a sort of mini strategic review where I asked: what is the purpose of this vehicle? How much money do we bring in? What does this achieve? How much surplus money do we give to charity, and how can we expand that?
“And since then, I’ve brought more sponsors to the table, which brings more money to the Women of the Year Awards. The event has grown and grown. We are giving increasing amounts to charities such as Prince’s Trust Women Supporting Women Initiative.
“So, it’s sort of a virtuous circle of supporting women to achieve more.”
This exclusive interview with Jenny Campbell was conducted by Megan Lupton, courtesy of Champions Speakers.